Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress (collectively, Duke) recently issued two requests for proposals (RFPs) as part of the implementation of Duke’s Distributed Energy Resource Program (DERP). The DERP, which was developed pursuant to South Carolina’s Distributed Energy Resource Act of 2014 (Act 236), was approved by the South Carolina Public Service Commission earlier this year. (See more information about Duke’s program.)
In an email sent to interested stakeholders on August 14, 2015, the Staff of the Oregon Public Utility Commission (the “Commission”) provided further guidance on the public comments due in Docket No. UM 1746 on September 1, 2015, and released a revised docket schedule. As we reported in our August 6, 2015, blog post, the Commission opened UM 1746 to examine a range of possible community solar programs and requested that stakeholders submit proposals for community solar designs by August 7, 2015. Seven stakeholders filed proposals or comments, including Oregon’s investor-owned utilities; Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon; joint nongovernmental organizations (NWSEED, Oregon SEIA, RNW, Portland Bureau of Planning & Sustainability, Oregonians for Renewable Energy Process, and NWEC); Northwest & Intermountain Power Producers Coalition; Oregon Department of Energy; and Vote Solar. Some of the proposals described specific community solar designs, while others proposed a preferred set of community solar attributes.
We may be close to seeing the passage of the first major federal energy legislation since the Energy Policy Act of 2007. With a vote of 18-4, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on July 30, 2015 voted to advance to the Senate floor the Energy Policy Modernization Act. The proposed act was introduced by the leaders of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee: Chairman Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and ranking member Democrat Maria Cantwell (D-WA). The broad, bipartisan energy legislation is a result of many hearings over 114 proposed energy bills introduced by committee members, dozens of sessions during which stakeholders provided input on the legislation, and over 94 amendments filed during a three-day markup session. The approximately 357-page legislation has five sections: efficiency, infrastructure, supply, accountability, and conservation reauthorization.
Recently, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed into law House Bill 57, known as the Solar Power Free-Market Financing Act of 2015 (the Solar Power Act). The Solar Power Act, which both houses of the state’s General Assembly passed unanimously, allows homes and businesses to install solar technology under third party ownership (TPO). Although it sailed through the General Assembly, the Solar Power Act is the product of detailed negotiations and compromise between lawmakers, electric service providers, and consumers. The introduction of TPO through the Solar Power Act is expected to provide a significant boost to the residential and commercial solar markets in Georgia. Read More
Under Section 3 of Oregon’s recently enacted HB 2941, the Oregon Public Utility Commission has opened Docket No. UM 1746 to examine a range of community solar programs that allow individual customers to share in the costs and benefits of solar facilities, focusing on the attributes of different community solar program designs. The Commission is required to submit a recommendation on program design to the legislature by November 1, 2015.
In order to meet the November 1, 2015 deadline, the Commission has created a non-traditional process and accelerated timeline to obtain stakeholder input and finalize the Commission’s recommendation. The Commission has requested that interested parties submit proposals for community solar program designs by this Friday, August 7, 2015, in advance of the first staff workshop scheduled for August 11, 2015. Read More
EPA issued the Clean Power Plan in its final form today, August 3, 2015. The rule in effect reshapes energy policy nationwide by setting state-by-state carbon emission standards that all states must achieve through a combination of producing energy more efficiently, reducing energy demand, shifting away from coal-fired generation toward natural gas, nuclear power, and renewable energy, and encouraging state and regional policies such as renewable portfolio standards and cap-and-trade programs. The final rule contains significant changes from the version proposed in 2014, including backing down from an initial earlier deadline for compliance, axing energy efficiency as the fourth “building block” for state targets, increasing the targeted GHG reductions to 32% below 2005 levels by 2030 (up from 30%), and using uniform carbon emissions rates for similar types of power plants. Read More